And, having become animated, forgetting that he was being dragged into a trap, he began speaking exaltedly: "Just imagine what Shepsherovich did last year! He carried to Argentine thirty women from Kovno, Vilno, Zhitomir. Each one of them he sold at a thousand roubles a total, madam count it of thirty thousand! Do you think Shepsherovich calmed down with this?
The winter battles of the Mazurian Lakes had forced the armies at the northern end of the Russian right flank back into their great fortresses Kovno and Grodno, and behind the line of the Niemen and the Bobr.
His movement was further provoked by the Russian raid which had already advanced once more across the border to close on Tilsit, Insterburg, and Angerburg and well to the west of Lyck. Hindenburg was ever fertile in surprises on this familiar ground, and on 7 February his left, commanded by Eichhorn, drove the Russians back along the railway to Kovno, and within a week had occupied Mariampol.
"I suppose I shall die a hopeless procrastinator but if I make small progress I also have no peace. It torments me dreadfully to have things undone. I wish I had passed beyond this world, in my soul." Kovno 1914. "I realize tremendously how an institution of this kind depends on the managing head.
White's in his autobiography did not agree with the facts. Germany did send ammunition to Spain, but Wilhelmstrasse was using Mr. White's book as proof that the Krupp interests did not supply our enemy in 1898. The latter part of September I entered Kovno, the important Russian fortress, eight days after the army captured it.
The northern Russian armies based upon the fortresses of Kovno and Grodno on the Niemen had not fully started on their part of this great, well-planned undertaking when the German counteroffensive was suddenly launched with tremendous strength from the Tilsit-Insterburg-Mazurian Lakes line.
Here also may be mentioned the Swedes, amounting to 286,000. The Jews inhabit especially the former Kingdom of Poland, the Western Governments, and the Crimea. Their number amounts to 3,000,000. Among the Jews the Karaimite are noticeable, living in the governments of Vilno, Volinia, Kovno, Kherson, and the Taurida. I shall follow the divisions given in his first volume by Oustrialov.
One of the greatest successes which the Germans gained in the summer of 1915 was the taking of the fortress of Kovno. Indeed it was the fall of this Russian bulwark as much as anything else that precipitated most of the Russian losses after the fall of Warsaw.
The Russian front had now been pushed back everywhere over a wide extent, which varied from about twenty miles in the extreme southeast and about fifty miles in the regions east of Grodno and Kovno, and to the north of this territory to almost 200 miles in the center east of Warsaw and Brest-Litovsk.
The forts were under direct attack for scarcely a week, demonstrating again the superiority of modern artillery over fort structures built by man. Kovno, capital of the Russian province of that name, is on the right bank of the Niemen. It is a fortress of the first class. The civilian population of the city is more than 75,000.